Katie Lightfoot joined the University of Nottingham's School of Veterinary Medicine and Science as a Teaching Associate in Equine Welfare and Knowledge Transfer in June 2020. She has over 10 years' experience in the veterinary industry, having worked as both a small animal veterinary receptionist and an equine nursing assistant in local veterinary hospitals. Whilst working in clinical practice, Katie successfully obtained an undergraduate degree in Equine Sports Science at Nottingham Trent University, graduating with first class honours, and a Diploma in Professional Practice, in July 2017. Following straight on from this, she joined the equine team at the University of Nottingham where she completed a PhD in Veterinary Medicine and Science entitled 'Building a toolkit for change: Evaluation of horse owner behaviour and knowledge transfer in response to an educational campaign'. As part of the equine teaching team, she now supports undergraduate student learning in subjects such as equine welfare, anatomy, and behaviour. Katie's position within the Vet School is also co-funded by the international charity World Horse Welfare, which means she is also involved in research projects associated with the welfare of working equids.
Katie is both Module Convenor and equine species lead for the Year 1 Animal Health and Welfare module, which covers essential animal handling and husbandry skills. Whilst primarily involved in all… read more
Katie's main research focus is in improving equine welfare through education and the identification of human behaviours which could be detrimental to change. She is currently co-supervisor on an MRes… read more
LIGHTFOOT, KATIE L., BURFORD, JOHN H., ENGLAND, GARY C. W., BOWEN, I. MARK and FREEMAN, SARAH L., 2020. Mixed methods investigation of the use of telephone triage within UK veterinary practices for horses with abdominal pain: A Participatory action research study PLOS ONE. 15(9),
Katie is both Module Convenor and equine species lead for the Year 1 Animal Health and Welfare module, which covers essential animal handling and husbandry skills. Whilst primarily involved in all aspects of equine teaching, regularly supporting veterinary students in subjects such as equine welfare, anatomy, and behaviour, Katie also assists in the delivery of veterinary communication skills teaching to all years.
Katie's main research focus is in improving equine welfare through education and the identification of human behaviours which could be detrimental to change. She is currently co-supervisor on an MRes project aiming to develop wound guidelines for horse owners (Hannah Cunningham) and routinely supports Year 3 veterinary undergraduate students during their research dissertations.
Katie's PhD evaluated horse owner behaviour and knowledge transfer in response to an educational colic campaign. The findings highlighted the importance of regular campaign evaluation to ensure the desired outcome is being elicited within the target population. Horse owners were found to regularly evaluate new information against their own prior experience or knowledge, resulting in many being reluctant to adopt new approaches or ideas because of persistent false beliefs or the fear of social criticism.
During this three-year PhD project, Katie also investigated current approaches associated with the telephone triage of horses with abdominal pain (colic) in veterinary practice. The study, co-funded by the World Horse Welfare, highlighted that the telephone triage of colic cases, and the identification of potentially critical cases, is currently unstandardised within UK equine practice. As a result, Katie launched a collection of veterinary team resources designed to aid decision-making during calls of this nature (https://www.beva.org.uk/Guidance-and-Resources/Practice-Managers/colic-resources).
Katie is an active member of the Nottingham Equine Research Project. This research group frequently collaborates with both horse owners and veterinary professionals to generate new evidence and recommendations which can improve various aspects of equine welfare. This co-production approach led to the design and launch of the 'REACT Now to Beat Colic' campaign, a highly successful evidence-based project developed in collaboration with The British Horse Society (www.bhs.org.uk/welfare-and-care/colic). Educational resources for undergraduate veterinary and equine science students (funded by international charity World Horse Welfare) have also been developed by this research group (www.worldhorsewelfare.org/equine-colic-form). Another successful group initiative, the REACT Vet Colic Champions scheme, was launched in collaboration with The British Horse Society in 2018. Designed to assist in the dissemination of up to date colic advice and evidence-based resources, this project currently has 74 UK veterinary practices actively involved (www.bhs.org.uk/our-work/welfare/our-campaigns/react/vet-react-colic-champions).
Katie is also passionate about improving the welfare of working equids in developing countries. As such, she frequently collaborates with the international project team at World Horse Welfare. Current research areas include the assessment of working equid welfare, community education and the impact of COVID-19 on working equids and their owners.